Data protection authority (DPA)

A data protection authority (DPA) is an independent public authority that supervises the application of the data protection law and protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects related to the processing of Personal data. Each EU Member State has its own DPA.

The primary roles of DPAs in the EU involve:

  • Handling data breach reports.
  • Consistently interpreting and enforcing Data privacy and protection laws across the EU.
  • Offering expert advice to businesses on data protection issues and compliance.
  • Managing complaints from individuals alleging GDPR violations.
  • Interpreting aspects of EU law, particularly regarding GDPR.
  • Managing fines and other noncompliance penalties.

Data controllers are typically obligated to inform users about their right to lodge a complaint and provide information about the DPA to reach out to.